Gavel with alimony money

Spousal Support

Nashville Spousal Support Lawyers

In a divorce, sometimes one spouse is left at a financial disadvantage. When this occurs, spousal support, more commonly known as alimony, is intended to provide support to a former spouse and place them in a financial position to become financially independent or enjoy a lifestyle comparable to that they enjoyed as a married person. Many factors are considered when awarding alimony. Having an experienced attorney on your team will help you determine what duration and amount of support you may be entitled to or may be responsible to provide.

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Couple review documentation from their spousal support attorney

The Types of Alimony In Tennessee

Depending on a myriad of factors, the economically disadvantaged spouse may be awarded one or more types of alimony.

These are the four types of alimony that can be awarded under Tennessee law:

  • Periodic Alimony – also known as alimony in futuro, is commonly awarded in marriages where only one spouse is the primary breadwinner, and the other requires financial support to maintain an accustomed lifestyle. Periodic alimony is most often awarded in cases involving a long-term marriage.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony – is designed to support a financially dependent former spouse while they increase their earning potential through additional education or training. In some instances, rehabilitative alimony is awarded in conjunction with another form of alimony.
  • Transitional Alimony –  is awarded to a spouse who may have the skills to be employable, yet the divorce impacted him/her financially. This type of support is meant to bridge the gap until the economically disadvantaged spouse can recover financially. Transitional alimony is typically awarded in short-term marriages, and is awarded in a specific amount for a specific duration of time.
  • Lump-Sum Alimony – also known as alimony in solido, is awarded in divorce cases in order to equalize the distribution of the marital estate, provide for attorney’s fees, or as part and parcel of a negotiated settlement. Lump-sum alimony is most often made in a single payment, and may be awarded in conjunction with other types of support.

How Spousal Support is Determined

Under Tennessee law, a court considers several factors when determining the amount of spousal support necessary and the duration of the alimony award. Alimony must be agreed to, or awarded, at the time of a divorce and may not be sought after entry of the Final Decree of Divorce.

The factors that may affect how much spousal support is awarded and for how long are:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
  • Each spouse’s separate or marital property.
  • The custody arrangement between the parents and whether the spouse seeking support has primary custody of any children.
  • The standard of living the couple sustained while married.
  • Each spouse’s financial resources, including earning capacity, retirement, or profit-sharing benefits.
  • Each spouse’s contributions during the marriage.
  • The age and health of each spouse.
  • Each spouse’s occupation as well as job skills and employability for the spouse seeking alimony.
  • The court may also consider the education and training of both spouses, their conduct during the marriage, and any other factors that it deems just or equitable in making its determination.

The most heavily weighted factor when determining the amount of alimony is the obligor’s ability to pay and the economically disadvantaged spouse’s need. While there is no specific formula or equation that can be used to determine the amount and duration of alimony, an experienced family law attorney can help you analyze the facts of your case in conjunction with the law to best determine potential alimony outcomes.

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alimony lawyer in Tennessee

Terminating Spousal Support

In some cases, it is possible to terminate spousal support payments. There must be a substantial and material change in circumstances since the original support was awarded to terminate alimony payments in Tennessee.

A material change is one that occurred after the original divorce decree was issued that was not anticipated or considered by either party at the time of the agreement. Substantial changes are those that significantly affect one party’s ability to pay or the other’s need for support. If this is the case, it’s best to speak with an experienced spousal support attorney to help you.

How Our Nashville Spousal Support Lawyers Can Help

When dealing with alimony matters, things can turn ugly easily, especially if you don’t have the right family law attorney by your side to guide you through the process. For decades, our Tennessee spousal support lawyers have helped clients find common ground where all parties are financially secure following a divorce or legal separation. We help our clients examine the financial circumstances involved and advocate for an appropriate solution.

Whether you are seeking spousal support during a divorce or trying to ensure fair payments, the divorce attorneys at MHPS are ready to fight for your rights.  Contact us today for more information.